Modern homeowners aren’t always aware of the range of roofing options available to them.  Many believe, quite mistakenly, that asphalt shingles are the only way to go when it comes to residential roofing.  Thankfully, that just isn’t true.

This article will introduce four different roofing materials that are appropriate for residential homes.  It will offer some insight into the pros and cons of each.  Hopefully, by the end of this article, homeowners will have a slightly better idea of what their options are and which of them will best meet their unique needs.

#1. Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular types of residential roofing not so much because they are the best possible roofing material but because they are inexpensive to install.  One additional advantage of asphalt shingles is that they are relatively easy to repair.  Although they are more expensive, architectural shingles can also be installed to mimic the appearance of cedar shakes or even slate, as well.

Unfortunately, there are many downsides to asphalt shingles, as well.  They are not very durable, lasting only around 20 years, nor are they exceptionally weather-resistant.  As a result, they are not known for increasing home values.

#2. Metal Roofs

Think that metal roofs are only for commercial buildings?  Think again.  They’ve actually been gaining in popularity among residential homeowners for quite some time.

Metal roofing confers many of the same benefits upon homes as it does upon commercial buildings.  It is much longer-lasting than asphalt shingles and better able to withstand even fairly severe inclement weather.  It’s also quite eco-friendly, as it is both great at preventing unnecessary heat transfer and recyclable, and extremely versatile.  Metal roofing tiles can be fabricated to mimic asphalt shingles, wood shake, or even ceramic.

The primary down-side of metal roofing is that it requires a more significant up-front investment.  Just keep in mind that this investment is offset by the longer lifespan of metal roofs.  Those who are interested in this option can find out more about all things metal roofing online.

#3. Slate Roofs

Slate is a type of natural stone that has been in use as a roofing material for centuries.  It is commonly associated with European roofing from the late 1900s thanks to what is sometimes called the slate boom.  It is less popular today, though, as it is a comparatively very expensive material.

Those who don’t mind spending a good deal of money on roofing materials love the natural beauty of slate.  It’s important to note, however, that even when cost is not an issue, the home must still be structurally sound enough to support the heavy weight of the stone tiles.  Although it can provide impressive natural beauty, there are many practical reasons that slate is not more popular today.

#4. Cedar Shake

Like stone tile roofs, cedar shake roofs are made of completely natural materials.  They are quite durable and energy-efficient, as well.  However, cedar shake roofs can be quite expensive and they require a good deal of regular maintenance in comparison to some of the other materials discussed above.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right roofing material is usually a matter of balancing the practical advantages and disadvantages of each roofing type with personal preference.  Homeowners who can afford to do so should keep factors like durability and longevity in mind as well as initial installation cost.  After all, it just makes good sense to invest in a roofing material that won’t have to be replaced immediately.